ENERGIA is delighted to announce that our long-time partner, the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), has committed to our new project Empowering Women, Engendering Energy with a 6 million euro contribution. The project builds on our experience in women’s economic empowerment, advocacy for gender inclusion in energy policies and practice, gender mainstreaming in large scale energy projects and programmes, and networking.
Empowering Women, Engendering Energy
The project is designed to achieve three specific objectives with four intervention areas: Catalyse women’s economic empowerment, improve the enabling environment for gender inclusion in the energy sector, strengthen the network voice and thought leadership. In this new phase, we will further develop our holistic and comprehensive approach to energy and gender. Indeed, ENERGIA’s uniqueness stands in the capacity to adopt a multi-pronged strategy, which combines evidence building, awareness creation, lobbying and advocacy, gender mainstreaming, knowledge and information sharing, women’s economic empowerment, organisational strengthening and network building. Action is needed at multiple levels, starting with demonstrating results on the ground, using these results as well as research based evidence to effect policy changes and assisting organisations to ideate, develop and implement gender-responsive energy interventions. This strategy has proved to be successful in building an enabling environment and we will continue improving it.
Women’s Economic Empowerment
The funding will enable us to continue and broaden direct support to micro and small scale women entrepreneurs in the sustainable energy value chain. The number of women entrepreneurs we will be able to support will grow to 6,000, reaching an additional 3 million customers. Access to finance will play a pivotal role in the support, as will training on the use of ICTs, including mobile phones, to improve operational business management.
Creating an enabling environment
The project will also permit us to continue our advocacy work for advancing gender equality in the energy sector and contribute to creating an enabling market and policy environment for the entrepreneurs. We will organize roundtables, involving financial institutions, local government, renewable energy businesses, women entrepreneurs and NGOs, as tackling systemic challenges the women entrepreneurs face requires working together, rather than in silos. Public awareness raising campaigns will highlight clean cooking solutions, lighting solutions and the use of energy for enhanced business productivity. In the international realm, ENERGIA will reach 29 million people in six countries. Facilitation of gender mainstreaming processes in large-scale, grid, centralised energy provision (ministries, utilities, energy companies and Development Finance Institutions) will be our focus, while supporting women’s economic empowerment through smaller scale, decentralised, off-grid solutions will be pivotal for an energy transition as ever.
Over the next years, we will enhance our role as thought leader on gender and energy. We are committed to create and host a Gender and Energy Innovation Hub, which will explore innovative ways of working, issues, and applications of skills or technologies. We will be sharing lessons learned and new resources through an international interactive, virtual portal. This will be regularly updated to facilitate learning and cooperation between stakeholders. These actions will be pursued in parallel to our knowledge management and communication activities, which will further strengthen our voice at national, international and global level.
In this new phase, we will continue our activities as a network that promotes change and action at the nexus of gender and energy. We will convene, connect and work closely with our partners and strategic allies to facilitate internal learning and cross-fertilisation of ideas.
The Asian Development Bank also chips in
Complementing the Sida funding, ENERGIA has also signed a contract with the Asian Development Bank for a 1.7 million dollar project Strengthening the Capacity of the Energy Sector to Deliver Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Results. This project focuses on gender mainstreaming in Nepal. ENERGIA Technical Advisors will work with several government bodies, such as the Nepal Electricity Authority and the National Association of Community Electricity Users Nepal, to develop capacities, formulate guidelines, strategies and plans to incorporate and monitor GESI indicator and results to their program and project cycles.
In parallel, 500 women from poor and marginalized groups will receive business orientation trainings as well as trainings in energy-based income generating activities and related technical skills. They will also receive support in accessing finance and markets. This intervention aims to promote income generating activities through productive uses of clean energy technologies.
In addition, ENERGIA, together with partner Ricardo, will train and develop capacity of NEA staff in new energy technology applications in order to improve their familiarity with current technology and modern practices of utility management, thus enhancing their efficiency and performance. These trainings will include use of smart grid elements such as smart metering system, advanced communication system allowing close consumer interface, distribution system automation, distribution system management, substation automation, effective monitoring of system performance and troubleshooting.
The Sida project runs from October 2018 to September 2022 and the ADB project from December 2018 to June 2020. Progress and impact stories will be shared on our website and social media channels, Twitter and LinkedIn.